Suggested Resources on the Civil War and the Battle of Antietam from the Archivist

by Mary-Jo Kline

Prof. McPherson is the author of Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), the authoritative study of the battle and its aftermath.

You and your students may also want to look at some of these recent studies:

  • Gallagher, Gary W., ed. Antietam: Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1989.
  • Harsh, Joseph L. Confederate Tide Rising: Robert E. Lee and the Making of Southern Strategy, 1861–1862. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1998.
  • Murfin, James V. The Gleam of Bayonets: The Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965.
  • Priest, John M. Antietam: The Soldiers’ Battle.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Sears, Stephen W. Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam. New Haven, CT: Ticknor & Fields, 1983.

For resources on other aspects of the Civil War, go to the History Now issue on “New Interpretations of the Civil War” (Winter 2010). You’ll find the essays there a useful refresher course.

There are excellent Internet resources on Antietam. You may want to start with the National Park Service website for Antietam battlefield. The “History and Culture” segments for the NPS battlefield sites are especially good.

Be sure to supplement this with Antietam on the Web, a noncommercial website created and maintained by Brian Downey. The menu leads you to an “Overview” and “Timeline” as well as battle maps, biographical sketches of participants, reports from 315 commanders, original articles, primary documents, images, and a gazetteer. You name it, this has it. I’m in love with this website. The “exhibits” even include the text of Lee’s Order 191 and a lengthy essay on this document order and other military intelligence operations before the battle.

More than six years ago, History Now published an excellent essay on the Emancipation Proclamation by Allen Guelzo. Be sure to read the “The Emancipation Proclamation: Bill of Lading or Ticket to Freedom?

And I’d like to add this book, especially useful for classroom purposes, which appeared just after our 2010 issue was published:

Vorenberg, Michael. The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents.  Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

Try to find these books for more material on Pope:

  • Cozzens, Peter. General John Pope: A Life for the Nation. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
  • Cozzens, Peter, and Robert I. Girardi, eds. The Military Memoirs of General John Pope. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Party politics didn’t vanish in the Union during the war, and these authors look closely at the phenomenon:

  • Neely, Mark E. The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Weber, Jennifer L. Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

If your students want to know more about efforts of the Union and the Confederacy to win support from Great Britain, this is a good survey:

  • Jones, Howard. Blue & Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

And you have a choice of good (but very different) biographies of Lord Palmerson:

  • Barton, Gregory A. Lord Palmerston and the Empire of Trade. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2012. A short biography appropriate for AP students.
  • Brown, David. Palmerston: A Biography. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. This will probably remain the definitive biography for some time.
  • For readers with a taste for Internet sources, here are also good sketches of Palmerston.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Already have an account?

Please click here to login and access this page.

How to subscribe

Click here to get a free subscription if you are a K-12 educator or student, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program, which provides even more benefits.

Otherwise, click here for information on a paid subscription for those who are not K-12 educators or students.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Become an Affiliate School to have free access to the Gilder Lehrman site and all its features.

Click here to start your Affiliate School application today! You will have free access while your application is being processed.

Individual K-12 educators and students can also get a free subscription to the site by making a site account with a school-affiliated email address. Click here to do so now!

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Why Gilder Lehrman?

Your subscription grants you access to archives of rare historical documents, lectures by top historians, and a wealth of original historical material, while also helping to support history education in schools nationwide. Click here to see the kinds of historical resources to which you'll have access and here to read more about the Institute's educational programs.

Individual subscription: $25

Click here to sign up for an individual subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Upgrade your Account

We're sorry, but it looks as though you do not have access to the full Gilder Lehrman site.

All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site, and our Affiliate School members gain even more benefits!

How to Subscribe

K-12 educator or student? Click here to edit your profile and indicate this, giving you free access, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program.

Not a educator or student? Click here for more information on purchasing a subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments